Traverse City Area Wines Makes A Splash At Country’s Largest Wine Competition

Five Traverse City Wine Coast wineries took away bragging rights at the largest wine competition in America. The wineries captured 35 awards in a variety of categories at the 2021 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition earlier this month.

The competition is hailed as one of the best in the country because a crew of nearly 50 judges do blind taste tests on nearly 5,700 wines from more than 1,000 wineries nationwide. The awards are given the top rank of Best in Class, followed by Double Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze.

“For over 50 years the wines in the region have been surprising wine experts and consumers,” says Traverse City Tourism president Trevor Tkach. “Every year they get more recognition, and these awards exemplify the quality of the wines that are made here.”

Wines from Blustone Vineyards, Boathouse Vineyards, Chateau Grand Traverse and Rove Estates were represented. Leelanau Cellars won awards not only under the Leelanau Cellars brand but also under the brands of Lakeshore Farms Trading Company and Farm Fresh Wine Company.

“Awards are an affirmation that quality has been achieved” says Leelanau Cellars Director of Marketing, Gabe Marzonie. “Our objective is not to win awards, but to make high-quality products through consistent winemaking practices.”

Marzonie adds when Traverse Wine Coast wineries do well in national competitions, as they did in San Francisco, it makes it easier to sell their bottles not only in Michigan but throughout the region. He says many wine retailers, including the larger chains, like to support the brands that do well in wine competitions.

All Michigan winners in the competition came from the Traverse Wine Coast, which is a collaboration between wineries on Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsula wineries in northwest Michigan.

Winning wines include:

Blustone Vineyards– Riesling (Gold), Late Harvest Riesling (Silver)

Boathouse Vineyards– Riesling (Double Gold), Overboard (Gold), Cabernet Franc (Silver), Pinot Grigio (Bronze), Muscat (Bronze)

Chateau Grand Traverse– Semidry Riesling (Gold), Late Harvest Riesling (Silver), Pinot Noir Rose Vin Gris (Silver), Pinot Noir (Bronze), Dry Riesling (Bronze)

Farm Fresh Wine Co.– Blackberry (Double Gold), Cranberry (Double Gold), Blueberry Moscato (Gold), Peach Moscato (Silver), Blackberry Moscato (Silver), Cherry (Silver), Blueberry (Bronze), Raspberry Moscato (Bronze), Apple (Bronze)

Lake Shore Farms Trading Co– Apple (Double Gold), Cranberry (Double Gold), Blueberry (Gold), Peach (Silver)

Leelanau Cellars– Red Sangria (Best in Class), Witches Brew Pumpkin Spice (Double Gold), Witches Brew Spiced Apple (Gold), Meritage (Gold), Festivus (Silver), White Sangria (Silver), Merlot (Bronze)

Rove Estate– Pinot Noir (Silver), Ragaire Rose (Silver), Chardonnay (Silver)



Traverse City Tourism is a nonprofit corporation that serves as the area’s official destination marketing organization. Traverse City Tourism works to enhance, reinforce, and develop the northern Michigan brand for potential visitors through advertising, marketing, trade shows, publications, sales missions, media relations, and Visitor Center services. Its experienced and knowledgeable team members are motivated by pride for their community and a desire to advance its economic well-being without sacrificing the values that make it a pretty great place. For details on lodging, attractions, and area events, visit